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County to host first 5K Run in decades

Mountain City Mammoth Vice President Jackson Yates goes for a run. The organizers all have experience in the athletic world and participating in similar events. Yates co-owns a crossfit business in the Neva Commons, CrossFit Firsty. Submitted photo

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

Johnson County residents, including president and vice president of the new nonprofit organization Mountain City Mammoth, Jordan Roark, and Jackson Yates, are now taking steps to promote healthy living and the county as a whole. Mountain City Mammoth, has recently began making preparations for its first local event in a form of a 5K run / walk named the Mountain City Mammoth 5K Run, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on September 4, 2021.The race is the first since 1985 with proceeds to split between three local nonprofit organizations: The Johnson County Senior Center, Pregnancy Support Center of Johnson County, and Appalachian Car Care.

“We want to promote healthy living, benefit nonprofits that don’t get a lot of money, and also bring more events to MC that the region can participate in,” said one organizer, Olivia Stelter of Women of MC. “It’s time to put MC on the map.”

People around the area have expressed interest in a 5K run in public forums. Now Roark, Yates, Stelter, and WMC Operations Manager Hannah Dunn are using their knowledge and experience in the athletic world and We Run Events to organize it. Within the first 24 hours after the run was announced, seven companies/organizations signed up, ready to sponsor the event.

“We are excited to not only bring 5K runners to Mountain City from all over the region but promote and support nonprofits in our community,” organizers said.

According to Roark, they hope to make the upcoming race an annual event if there is enough response. As of the time of this article, 15 people have confirmed they will participate and an additional 55 expressed interest. The Town of Mountain City agreed on the organizers’ preset route during its last meeting. The race will start at Ralph Stout Park, follow the road towards the Food Distribution Center, circle JCMS and JCHS, then head back towards Ralph Stout Park along West Main Street. Police officers will block the intersections while runners are present, and volunteers will offer water and first aid at stops.

The Tomahawk reached out to City Mayor Jerry Jordan to see if the city had any plans to host more of such events while promoting and showcasing the town. As of the time of this article, Jordan reports there are no such plans. County Mayor Mike Taylor liked the idea of hosting a cleanup and plans to promote the run through the local tourism website, Explore Johnson County, and the county website.

More information will be available soon. Participants can register in seven weeks. Stay updated through the Mountain City Mammoth 5K Facebook page and event page.